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The Mysteries of London - Volume 2

George W. M. Reynolds

Book Overview: 

The Mysteries of London was a best-selling novel in mid-Victorian England, published in four volumes. This is the second volume. Initially serialized in weekly installments, they were the forerunners of today's soap operas. Known as "Penny Dreadfuls", they had no claim to literary brilliance but offered readers entertainment and excitement in the form of vice, poverty, wealth, virtue, mystery and scandal in every combination and reached a mass audience.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ro knew that it was well for that man to give way to the good feelings which the contemplation of humanity and philanthropy in others had so recently awakened.

But Richard did not perceive that, while the executioner was giving utterance to the invincible promptings of nature, Gibbet had drawn near,—had listened to his father with indescribable interest,—had drunk in with surprise and avidity every word that fell from his lips,—and had gradually sunk upon his knees in the presence of that benefactor whom even a rude, brutalized, and savage disposition was now compelled to believe to be something more than man!

"This, sir," said Benstead, glancing his eyes around, and touching Markham's arm to direct his attention to the scene,—"this, sir, is doubtless a welcome reward for all your goodness."

Richard hastily brushed away a tear, and raising Gibbet from his adoring posture, said, . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Surely much about this book is unbelievable: credulity-straining coincidences and the heartfelt repentances of thoroughly disreputable characters. But it’s still a rollicking and frequently touching tale, kept from five stars only by Reynolds’s insistence, in three cases, of interrupting the main fl

For the Victorian novel aficionado --this book, along with Volume I has it all. The style is quintessentially Dickensian, but Reynolds is more explicit about the social taboos of his age.

And his advocacy of democratic socialism is pretty clear. He pushes the envelope in social criticism, with no hol

Goes on a bit.....more

In the end too much circumlocution to fill issues.

That said, it is what it is, an issue based tale to make money for the writer.

It would be interesting to read an actual novel by the author.

Not surprising a big seller of its day though!

Oh my God, the Conclusion! Did you want to know what happened to everybody? Here it is!

Richard Markham's date to re-unite with his long lost brother, Eugene is the carrot dangling for his entire drama, and so the story races towards 1843, and the conclusion of several arcs. There is almost too muc

Volume One was a five star read for me and volume two started off in the same vein, but gradually I lost enthusiasm. I think that 1) it just went on too long (each volume is 1,000 pages) 2) the baddies were hellishly bad and the goodies were superhumanly good and accomplished which became a little m

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